Four total events make up the program in road bike racing for the Summer Olympic Games. They are:
- Men's Road Race
- Men's Time Trial
- Women's Road Race
- Women's Time Trial
Road Race Format
The road races begin with mass starts, and determining a winner is simple: the first person to the finish wins the race. In the Beijing Olympics, the men raced over 245.4 km (152.5 miles) and the women over 126.4km (78.5 miles), in what was widely believed to be one of the most challenging courses in modern Olympic history. After the first relatively flat 80 km or so, riders did seven laps around a hilly 23.8 km circuit, meaning about 170 km of rugged up and down before they see the finish in the men's race. The women follow the same challenging course, but with fewer laps around the circuit portion. 2008 gold medal winners were Samuel Sanchez, of Spain, and Nicole Cooke, of Great Britain. The London 2012 Olympics features approximately the same distance for both men and women's races, but over a much more civilized course.
Riders Competing: 145 riders start en masse in the men's road race; 67 women riders make up the field in the women's race.
The time trial race is purely based on individual time scored against the clock, with riders starting one-by-one at 90-second intervals. Winner is the one with the overall fastest time. In the time trial events, the men's course is 46.8 km/29 miles, while the women compete against each other over 31.2 km/19.4 miles.
Forty male riders compete in the time trial race; 25 women cyclists compete for the time trial crown.